Anniversary Games in London cancelled as Diamond League unveils new calendar

The Anniversary Games has been cancelled as the Diamond League announced a new provisional calendar for 2020.

The series has been forced to reschedule and cancel events because of the coronavirus pandemic.

The Anniversary Games, London’s Diamond League event which was scheduled for July 4 and 5, was cancelled on Tuesday in a massive financial blow to UK Athletics.

UKA chief executive Joanna Coates said: “Cancelling the event will have a significant financial impact on UKA and the wider sport.

“The revenue we generate from events – through ticketing, broadcast and sponsorship helps administer the sport and provide the essential governance services that we, as an NGB, oversee.

“We’re incredibly thankful to our commercial partners, some of which are continuing to support us during these tough times but there will be a substantial reduction in income from the cancellation of this event and this will have an impact moving forwards.”

This year’s Diamond League will not be a series of events culminating in a final as usual and athletes will not earn points this season. The final in Zurich has been scrapped.

A Diamond League statement read: “This provisional calendar will see a number of Wanda Diamond League meetings go ahead as one-off, exhibition events, while others will be staged as adapted Wanda Diamond League meetings.

“There will be no events in July and the first half of August (other than National Championships where possible), and the season will instead be extended into October.

“The uncertainty over future government restrictions and timings in the different host countries requires flexibility and adaptability on the part of meeting organisers when planning, staging and offering competition opportunities to athletes.

Premier League File photo
The London Stadium was due to host the Anniversary Games in July, (Bradley Collyer/PA)

“Each meeting organiser will review and announce the format of their competition and which disciplines are included two months before the event takes place so they can work with the prevailing conditions set by their Governments.

“This two-month window will also help to give athletes time to prepare mentally, stay motivated and adjust training for competition. Some meeting organisers might choose to stage their events in innovative, alternative formats and/or under social distancing regulations.”

Gateshead is still due to host an event on August 16, with Monaco and Stockholm also pencilled in for that month.

In September, Lausanne will host on the 2nd, Brussels (4th), Paris (6th), (Rome/Naples (17th) and Shanghai (19th).

In October, there will be events in Eugene (4th), Doha (9th) and a second meeting in China on the 17th, with a venue to be confirmed.

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